Breast reconstruction surgery is performed on women who have lost one or both of their breasts due to breast cancer or traumatic injury.
When is breast reconstruction used?
When a lumpectomy, mastectomy, or double mastectomy has been recommended to treat breast cancer, a plastic surgeon can play a key role in guiding you through reconstructive options, performing the necessary procedures and caring for you postoperatively.
Breast reconstruction after a breast cancer diagnosis is fully or partially covered by most insurance companies. The Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) of 1998 includes requirements that insurance companies cover all or part of the cost of reconstruction of the breast following a mastectomy.
It also provides for reasonable correction of breast asymmetry. Before performing breast reconstructive surgery, we can work with your insurance company in an effort to obtain financial approval for the procedure.
How is breast reconstruction performed?
Breast reconstruction may include a breast implant, the use of your own tissue (flaps), or a combination of both. The type and timing of breast reconstruction should factor in other potential treatments (such as chemotherapy and radiation) as well as your body shape, life activities, other medical conditions, and personal preferences.
Intermountain Medical Group plastic surgeons work with patients to determine when breast surgery works best for each individual. Immediate, or primary, reconstruction may allow for preservation of chest skin and may help reduce some psychological anxiety associated with a mastectomy. Delayed, or secondary, reconstruction is available to women who would like to wait and for women whose treatment prevents immediate reconstruction.
What results can I expect?
The final results of breast reconstruction following mastectomy can alleviate the physical and emotional impact of that surgery. Scar lines will improve and some breast sensation may return over time.